Israeli forces shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian bystander and seriously injured four other Palestinian teens early Tuesday morning west of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank, after Palestinian youth nearby threw stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli settlers, lightly injuring them. The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed the death of Mahmoud Raafat Badran, 15, from the village of Beit Ur al-Tahta.
Local Palestinian sources told Ma’an that five teenage Palestinians were travelling in a car between Beit Ur al-Tahta and the nearby village of Beit Sira west of Ramallah when Israeli forces “showered” the vehicle with live fire, killing one and injuring four. Head of the village council of Beit Ur al-Tahta Abdul Karim Kassem told Reuters that Mahmoud and his friends were in a car “returning from a pool in a village near us when they came under fire.”
Israeli media outlets initially reported that 15-year-old Mahmoud, a “terrorist,” had been one of the stone throwers, though he was later revealed to be an innocent bystander to the incident.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that after a number of Palestinian youth hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at moving Israeli settler vehicles on route 443 west of Ramallah, “Israeli forces acted to protect additional vehicles from immediate danger and fired toward the suspects and bystanders were mistakenly hit.”
She added that the incident was still under investigation.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health said that three Palestinian bystanders injured alongside Mahmoud sustained serious injuries after being shot by Israeli forces in the head and chest, and were evacuated to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah City, while the fourth was taken to Israel’s Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem.
The four were identified as Mahmoud’s two brothers 16-year-old Amir and 17-year-old Hadi, as well as Daoud Abu Hassan, 16, and Majd Badran, 16.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that two Palestinian suspects were detained by Israeli forces in connection to the stone throwing and taken in for interrogation. Some Israeli news outlets reported that the Palestinian stone throwers also spilled oil on the road before they attacked the settler vehicles.
The Israeli army spokesperson added that three Israeli civilians were lightly injured in the incident. Israeli news site Ynet reported that two of those injured were foreigners, and two males had already been discharged from Shaarei Tzedek hospital while a woman remained for treatment of light injuries. More than 10 vehicles reportedly sustained damages.
Local Palestinian sources told Ma’an that Mahmoud’s body is still being held by Israeli forces. His father is a former prisoner, freed from Israeli custody in 1999 after serving a 15-year sentence, locals said.
Mahmoud is one of some 220 Palestinians to be killed by Israeli forces or settlers since October, many of whom were killed while carrying out individual attacks on Israeli military and settlers. Just under 30 Israelis have been killed during the unrest.[Source: Ma’an News]